Themes and Activities

Uncrewed Systems

Overview: As hydrographic surveying continues to evolve and assimilate new technologies beyond traditional
ship-borne echosounders, NOAA and the broader hydrographic community can benefit from careful evaluation of such systems’ operational capabilities and performance. COMIT aims to provide such information though industrial partnerships and testing a variety of sensor and uncrewed (UxS) systems/vehicle combinations. Direct engineering improvements to UxS and their payloads will most likely be realized by manufacturers with specialized expertise and proprietary knowledge relevant to the equipment in question. However, these efforts can be better transitioned into functional applications for mapping with coordinated testing benefiting from a regional testbed network and researchers with an institutional knowledge base. COMIT Co-PI Chad Lembke also heads a well-established oceanic glider program which will be integrated into our Center’s research projects. 

Proposed activities:

  • Develop, map, and characterize nearshore and offshore testbeds for autonomous and ship-based multibeam systems
  • Develop criteria for testing and evaluation among candidate technologies
  • Evaluate UxS candidate systems for accuracy, precision, efficiency and cost effectiveness for mapping under testbed conditions

 Recent Happenings:

  • Tampa Bay shallow water and inlet mapping exercise with an uncrewed surface vessel is in the final planning stages, we are aiming for the survey to occur in October 2021
  • Collaborator, Dr. Nancy Williams, has past and current research projects using Saildrone platforms to study the Southern Ocean